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Capital News Service awarded MOEy Best in Show


Abbi Martzall, SPJ Awards Coordinator, (317) 920-4791, amartzall@spj.org
Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 920-4785, rsemple@spj.org

NEW ORLEANS – Capital News Service in the Philip Merril College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park, has been given the MOEy Best in Show award for its series, “The Brothel Next Door.”

Each year, student journalists compete regionally in print, TV, radio and online categories. The Brothel Next door was a regional winner in the Newspaper In-Depth Reporting (Large school) category.

First-place winners advance to compete nationally and are eligible for the MOEy. The best in show award is chosen from more than 4,100 entries in SPJ's 2015 Mark of Excellence Awards competition.

The Capital News Service project had contributors from the investigative reporting, media law and Baltimore urban affairs reporting classes. Students examined more than three dozen state and federal human trafficking cases from 2005 to 2015, submitting 70 public records requests for reports on human trafficking and prostitution.

Their multimedia website shows failures uncovered on the city and state levels. The city of Baltimore has not won a human trafficking case in two years, and Maryland ranks among the mildest penalties for human trafficking of adults when compared to other states. These discoveries are paired with testimonies and anecdotes of survivors.

The judges said, “This reporting told a story that is important and hasn’t been told before. The collaboration of the different classes increases its impact by bringing in different perspectives and expertise. Then the production level includes all the elements that a piece of digital journalism should while being compelling.”

Capital News Service accepted the award today during the Student Union at Excellence in Journalism 2016 in New Orleans.

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